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Postcard Perfect — By christinegarvin on April 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

A nearly-napping deer sits guard in front of the Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Itsukushima in the city of Hatsukaichi, Japan. The photographer notes that deer are common in public places in Japan, though they are friendlier in some places than in others.

The Itsukushima Shrine is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and is also considered a National Treasure of Japan. Though it’s hard to tell in the photo, the shrine is actually on water, as its religious significance was to allow pilgrims to approach the sacred island. The purity of the shrine is so important that no births or deaths have been permitted near it since 1878.

Tags: Japan, sacred shrines, UNESCO World Heritage Site

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